"The Black Pearl", Ernie Virgo of Hartford, overcame fatigue, deception and youth to take top honors in the 1999 Connecticut state Championship event, and showed glimpses of the form that carried him, in past years, to Jamaican National Men's Singles Titles, and a place leading their team at the World Championship tournament.
Fatigue was the first opponent Ernie, proud new father of a five month old girl, and step-father to two teenage girls battled. The second- deception, in the form of semi-finalist Don Feltenberger and his combination Phantom and Mark V racket, was more easily dispatched with straight game convincing wins.
Youth, the final challenge, in the form of College student Inna Laskova,of Hamden, a Russian women with a "20 something" rating (2021 on a recent list) earned her place in the final with a reversal of her earlier loss to local rival and 1998 champion Rich Dewitt of Fairfield (2091) in the Under 2100 final. While Lascova battled hard, Virgo's experience prevailed in 3 straight games.
While Virgo isn't in training regularly these days, during his last 'season' of 'serious knocking' he managed an impressive 1998 US Open title in the U-2300 event.
Other results in the 40 player field, hosted at the Middletown (CT) TTC's weekly playing site:
State Championship event results:
Connecticut Champion: 1st: Ernie Virgo 2nd: Inna Lascova
Senior Esquire 65+ 1st: Walter Blackall (unopposed)
Esquires 50+ 1st: Don Feltenberger 2nd: Richard Zurowski
Seniors 40+ 1st: Don Feltenberger 2nd: Csaba Nagy
Juniors under 18: 1st: Joseph Pomianowski 2nd:David Sermer
'Classic Hardbat': 1st Csaba Nagy (Victor) 2nd Dave Strang
Connecticut Open (rating event) results:
Class AAA U-2100 1st: Richard Dewitt 2nd: Inna Laskova
Class AA U-2000 1st: Victor Popovich 2nd Don Feltenberger
Class A U-1850 1st: Gary White 2nd: Joe Pomianowski
Class B U-1600 1st Julian Yeung 2nd: Douglas Moe
Class C U-1450 1st Julian Yeung 2nd: Brian Taylor
Class D U-1300 1st Herman Von Oy 2nd: Walter Blackall
Class E U-1150 Richard Daly 3 2nd: Rick Nelson
Class F U-1000 1st: Vin Perry 2nd: Bill Barnes 3rd: John Dabrowski
Class G U-0850 1st: Bill Barnes 2nd: John Dabrowski
3rd: David Sermer